I wish the words would flow as easily as I try to type them as they do in my head. In the midst of revamping my website in the light of our separation due to COVID, I just cannot even begin without paying homage to the community that allowed me to step in and run the AV (audiovisual, ie lighting, presentation, audio, video and later edit the videos) at this event. This is the video I created about my biggest “takeaway” from those days.

Transitioning from such an insulated industry as the hunter/jumper world into the “real world” was daunting and scary, to say the least. However, through my involvement in 2014 as the AV producer and later as co-director, co-organizer then organizer of other TEDx events, I have been gifted by meeting some (if not most) of the most talented, inspired, and ambitious human beings (and a couple of cute robots) in San Diego and beyond.

More than at any other time in my life, being exposed to and influenced by such tremendously talented and driven individuals, taught me so much about leadership, community, and even politics the latter of which I had more or less avoided much of my life. Having a phobia or collaboration dating back to my film days in Boston and New York, I was exposed to what collaboration really can look like and had the opportunity to practice it to the best of my ability. My concept of ‘success’ was both challenged and, in a way, validated. The challenges of ‘grassroots’ were exposed. Friendships were forged. Connections were made that, to this day, grace me with support and great advice that are often just a phone call (um…Zoom meeting.. away)… no matter how long it’s been since we’ve talked. Honesty, just being able to witness the journey of many I have met is enough of a lesson of its own. Through editing countless videos, an opportunity was presented to ‘get to know’ people I may not have chosen to otherwise and that I wish I had not been so busy so as to have taken the time to listen to more at the time. Being an organizer affords that gift, one you are too often busy to take the time to accept.

I used to scathingly accuse people of being ‘selfish’ by not telling their stories, potential speakers mostly. “Sharing is caring” was my motto. Today, nearly a decade later, it seems to me that the story of TEDxAmericasFinestCity and the effort put into creating this educational, interconnected life experience is worth telling. Before I bedazzled you with my ed-tech prowess and wisdom gleaned building curriculum and developing lessons that often had to be altered ‘on the fly’ as a competitive equestrian show coach (long before I became an eLearning/ID professional) – I need to honor that. It speaks to the foundations of my philosophy as an employee, creative, leader, coach, and community member. Here goes….

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